Sunday, March 2, 2014

Poking the 'Eye' of God.

How do you poke God in the ‘eye?’‘Truly, one who touches you (nation of Israel) touches the apple of my eye.’ (Zechariah 2:8).
How do you make God jealous?‘Thus says the Lord of Hosts; I am jealous for her (Jerusalem) with great wrath.’ (Zechariah 8:2)

Some will say that was long ago and not relevant to today. Think again. ‘Thus says the Lord; I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. (Zechariah 8:3). That hasn’t happened. Will it? Islamic nations hope not. In league with anti–Semitic Gentile nations they are doing everything in their power to prevent it. Will they succeed? Are the United Nations plus the World Council of Churches, whose decrees we know, stronger than the Word of God, which calls us to trust it? This is ultimately the choices before us.

Zechariah calls Jerusalem a ‘cup of reeling’ for all the peoples surrounding the land and city. Their insane craving to consume this place will ultimately make them devoid of reason and inflame acts of violence. We live in an era where we have witnessed small scale acts of the ‘reeling power’ of this city. According to scripture it will get worse. So what are the implications of the opening statements? The Lord God unveiled in the bible is dismissed as a non–event and the people who are His ‘eye’ are expendable. Because it appears God is silent and has forgotten Israel (He hasn’t) the anti–Semitic nations feel invincible. However the Lord has set aside a time of vengeance; of judgement; of deliverance when He will honour to His Name and word.

This is the era of grace. How long it will last is known only to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When His patience ends judgement begins. So as to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about its architect God has had it recorded. His enemies have tried to obliterate His book since day one. Why? It’s not simply because they don’t like their destiny, they want to make God a liar. They will never succeed! Zechariah speaks about this time in his 12th and 14th chapters. The nations fight against Jerusalem and seem to win. However the Lord of hosts says “Enough!” No more poking of His eye by arrogant unbelieving nations. No more being scoffed at. No more the city of His heart being trodden under foot.

The prophet foresaw this event and described it as the Lord touching down on the Mount of Olives. He strides into His city to reclaim it and establish the promised reign of righteousness and justice. On that day ‘the Lord will become King over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.’ (Zechariah 14:9) What about Jerusalem? ‘It shall be inhabited, for never again shall it be doomed to destruction; Jerusalem shall abide in security.’ (Zechariah 14:11) Notice those two words ‘never again!’ Well worth a study where they are used.

The bible has so many references to the history and the future of Jerusalem it would take many articles to explore. Why did Jesus weep over it? (Matthew 23:37) He saw their unbelief. He saw the Gentile nations’ hatred. He felt the Gentile’s collective ‘finger in His eye’. He knew their destructive intent and the terror they would inflict upon the city of His heart.  

However the Lord Jesus did not despair. He also knew the future and looked to the day beautifully described in Isaiah 62. Please read the whole passage. Suffice it now to quote verse 4: ‘You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.’ The word ‘Delight in Her’ in Hebrew is ‘Hephzibah.’ Therefore any person, any nation, and any Church group should be careful about their actions and their attitudes are levelled against this city. Why? ‘You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.’ (Isaiah 62:3).

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